I remember my mom coming home from the neighbor's house with the inevitable 10 pound zucchini and, not knowing what to do with it, she'd either plop it onto a newspaper in the corner of the basement (the place where zucchinis were left to die) or mash it up to put into zucchini bread.
Truth be told, however, it was usually the former fate that awaited those poor over achieving vegetables and I was left with a distaste for the not so jolly green giants well into adulthood.
But all that changed a few years ago when I visited an Italian friend during zucchini season and oh the wonders! Fried zucchini coated in corn meal, zucchini in pasta sauce, zucchini on the grill - and the list goes on. So much so that it's now become one of my favorite vegetables.
Not only is it super versatile and absolutely delicious, it's high in vitamin C, fiber, and many other nutrients and it's also a great low carb, low calorie choice for healthy eating. So knowing all that, I hope you can imagine my excitement when the zucchini boat idea popped onto the foodie scene.
As a recipe developer who's passion is to make easy delicious foods a little healthier, this one was a no brainer! I had to throw my hat into the ring and come up with a zucchini boat recipe of my own that would be super healthy, lower in carbs and calories, and incredibly delicious.
And I did.
The magic in today's recipe is that it tastes like summer. What I mean by that, is because zucchini is so iconic (to me anyways) of warm summer days, I wanted this dish to taste really fresh year round, and the secret to that is canned cherry tomatoes. Typically imported from Italy, canned cherry tomatoes are an inexpensive product that you should be able to find at your local grocery, Trader Joes, or Italian grocer. In a pinch, the recipe is still great with regular tinned tomatoes - but it is over the top with the cherry tomatoes so do try to find them.
The second secret is the use of ground turkey breast meat in the filling. I've discovered over the years that few proteins go as well with zucchini than ground turkey - better than ground beef (especially in this dish) because, again, the flavor profile is really light and that comes across so well.
I hope you try this one, and if you do, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe, follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.
So now, cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch as we put together this beautiful dish!
Skinny Zucchini Pizza Boats
Visit the printable recipe: HERE
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 (2 boats a person)
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 1 lb ground turkey breast
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 400 gram (14 ounce) tin canned Italian cherry tomatoes (if you can't find these, substitute a tin of high quality canned tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup shredded feta cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 medium zucchinis
- Saute the onion and ground turkey over medium high heat in a non stick pan misted with olive oil until the onion is soft and the turkey is almost cooked through. Add the salt, black pepper, minced garlic and continue to saute until the ground turkey is completely cooked through.
- Stir in the canned tomatoes and use the spatula to burst the tomatoes. Let that simmer 10 minutes.
- While that simmers, place the zucchini in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp to about 1/4 inch from the skin. Chop pulp.
- Add the zucchini pulp to the sauce.
- Stuff the zucchini halves with the ground turkey mixture. Place each boat onto a square of tinfoil, top each with equal amounts of the cheese, and bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.
Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.